Future PD parking may go against ordinance

When the transition from the current town hall to the new town hall is complete, renovations will begin on the old building in an effort to convert it into the new Mint Hill Police Department.  The plans show a secured parking area in the rear of the building, leaving no spaces for public parking.  The Board of Commissioners held a public hearing at their August 16 meeting on the request for parking in the front of the building, a request that goes against the town’s ordinance.  No one from the public spoke on the issue.

“I’m sorry, but I can’t support this because I feel like as a town we should be setting the example for our codes and ordinances and not granting ourselves an exception.  We should hold ourselves to the same standards that we hold other property owners to,” said Commissioner Tina Ross.

”I think this property’s unique in that we have very few downtown buildings that sit this far back off the road,” said Mayor Ted Biggers.  “With this being a police facility it creates a unique situation.  The building is being designed to have a secure, private parking lot in the rear.  That will be a gated parking lot.  Only the police will have access to the rear of the building, so for the public to gain access to the building and to have handicap parking, which allows the handicapped to park close to the main entrance, I’m going to support this proposal.”

The request was sent to the Planning Board, which met August 20.  The board moved to ask the commissioners to look at all the other options before allowing parking in the front of the building.

In other matters

  • The board accepted the treasurer’s report, the tax collector’s report, set a public hearing date for an amendment to the downtown sidewalk code, adopted a fee schedule, accepted the full settlement report for tax collections for the last fiscal year, adopted an order for Mecklenburg County to collect 2012 taxes, and adopted amendments to the 2012 and 2013 fiscal year budgets.
  • A resolution was passed ensuring quality water service.
  • A camping ordinance restricting tents and overnight camping in public spaces was adopted in an effort to deter activity related to the Democratic National Convention.  Commissioner Ross voiced concern about the ordinance’s affect on other camping plans, including Relay for Life.  The board intends to rescind the ordinance after the DNC at the September 13 meeting.
  • During the public comments a Mint Lake Village resident spoke in opposition to the 7-Eleven gas station and car wash plans for the intersection of Matthews-Mint Hill Road and Idlewild Road.  He was concerned about traffic, ground contamination, and diminishing property value.  Another resident asked the board to consider revising the noise ordinance, saying it was “outdated and way too lax.”  He suggested what Mecklenburg County has in place, and referenced the change Matthews is considering.  Toni Byers, who spoke at the public hearing on the rezoning petition to allow a fire station at the intersection of Arlington Church Road and Cabarrus Road, asked the board to not allow the rezoning.
  • The mayor and town manager Brian Welch are working with the Mint Hill Historical Society and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools regarding the old Bain Elementary School building.  They are setting up a committee to gauge community interest in saving the building.
  • The rezoning petition to construct the new fire station was approved.
  • The board appointed Charlie Burdick to the Board of Adjustment, and reappointed the Parks and Recreation Committee members and the Planning Board members.  The mayor thanked everyone who applied for these positions, saying they received good applications.
  • The board decided not to transplant the town’s evergreen tree when the town hall moves.
  • The fire department received 207 EMS calls and 74 fire calls in June, and 215 EMS calls and 83 fire calls in July, making the total number of calls for the year 1,891.
  • The town’s lawyer will provide a report on the Historic Landmark Commission agreement.  Mint Hill is the only town in Mecklenburg County who does not work with the group.
  • The next town hall meeting will be in the current building.  The new town hall is waiting for furniture.
  • In a closed session the board decided to purchase property at 11131 Lawyers Road for $50,199.
Share

Property maintenance big issue for some residents

The Board of Commissioners met June 14 to discuss proposed amendments to the town’s code of ordinances regarding housing and property maintenance and the nuisance abatement code.  The amendments set a timeline of action.  The amendment reads “Order by the Governing Body after failure to repair, remove, vacate, or close after one year.”  Property owners have one year to handle issues, and “after the expiration of such one-year period, the Board of Commissioners may enact an ordinance and serve such ordinance on the owner, setting forth” property repair or demolition within 90 days.

Residents spoke during the public comments section of the meeting on this topic and situations that affect their neighborhoods.  Henry Hartz lives in Farmwood where a house was damaged by a fire two and half years ago but remains untouched.

“We just don’t see anything changing.  We think it’s a health hazard, and personally I would like to see a tax reduction as a result of the impact on my property…I would like to encourage your board to do what they can to get this thing taken care of,” said Hartz.

Pat Heffernan is also a neighbor affected by the burnt house in Farmwood.

“This gentleman is jobbing the system and is very good at it…I would say that it’s not fair to the tax payers, it’s not fair to the neighbors, and it’s simply not right that we should be looking at this type of a situation for the amount of time that we’re looking at it, and then to hear legislation that says technically it could be another 15 months.  Now, I don’t know who has the linchpin, but there is one and it needs to be pulled.  I hope the board will find it for us and get this taken care of,” said Heffernan.

Town Manager Brian Welch clarified that if the town needs to demolish a residence, a lien will be put on the owner’s property.

“The town has done everything we can do within the confines of the law,” said Mayor Ted Biggers.  “We will do everything we can as fast as we can within the constraints of the law.  We will continue to push this issue.”

In other matters

  • The board accepted the treasurer’s report and the tax collector’s report.
  • They approved the budget amendments and accepted the budget for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2013.
  • The town will enter in an inter-local agreement with surrounding fire departments.
  • The petition filed by Sullivan, Byrd & Roupas to construct an office building at 6332 Matthews-Mint Hill Road was approved.
Share